Letters to the Editor
No Point in Denying

By Chris Laidlaw Bell
Naples Daily News [Naples FL]
September 23, 2003

In a letter printed Saturday, Sept. 20, a writer apparently feels that this movie ("The Magdalene Sisters") is an attack on Catholicism and that the movie itself is hysterical propaganda perpetrated by Jewish film distributors. This is an old canard some kind of Jewish conspiracy. That it is embraced throughout the Arab world is perhaps understandable, but here in the United States when it rears its ugly head it is inexcusable.

The premise of the movie is indeed factual. My wife's family had direct experience of this very institution, with horrific results. There are other, similar documented cases such as in Australia around the same time.

More recently we have seen scandals of sexual abuse by priests come to light. Of course, the majority of Catholic priests, nuns and adherents of the faith are of good character, and these aberrations should not be allowed to tarnish Catholicism any more than similar scandals can negate the Baptist movement, etc.

By refusing to accept the existence of such events, the conditions are created for ongoing wrongdoing. Turning a blind eye is what allowed these events to take place in the first place, both at a local level and by those in the hierarchy presumably because it was for "the greater good."

Less likely to occur these days? After all, these historical abuses were perpetrated on a vulnerable population (largely poor and uneducated). However, the priest abuses reported nationally are recent.

Denial is not a river in Africa.

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